14 Best Facial Moisturizers Your Dark Skin Can’t Do Without

Every day, in and out, you wear moisturizers. After all, it is an essential skincare product in your routine. This is why choosing the best facial moisturizers for dark skin tones is essential because we use this in our everyday life.

This is a simple enough reason.

Dark skins are prone to getting dry quickly, which is my moisturizers are a necessity for us, whether we like to admit it or not.

I, for one, used to think I didn’t need a facial moisturizer when all it did was make my skin feel oily and slippery. I realized I have been using the wrong formula all this while. And when I got it right, I have been amazed by the transformation on my face.

This is the power of a facial moisturizer.

This is why I would be delving into the best facial moisturizers for dark skin tones. You need the perfect facial moisturizer to help your skin stay healthy.

Knowing the importance of facial moisturizer is one thing, getting the right one is another. So, I hope my guide navigates you to the facial moisturizer perfect for you.

facial moisturizers for dark skin

Best Facial Moisturizers for Dark Skin

To prevent your skin from drying up under the sun, you need moisturizers that would protect your dark skin from harmful elements.

That being said, you can use products like these to get your dark skin nourished, protected, and shiny.  You can find the following the best facial moisturizers for dark skin.

1. Best All-Purpose Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

If you are looking for all-purpose facial moisturizers for dark skin tones, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel Face Moisturizer is a great choice.

The moisturizer is made with hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help the skin stay hydrated and moisturized. Also, it is oil-free and non-comedogenic. The formula easily penetrates the skin and wouldn’t clog the pores.

It is fast-absorbing and keeps the skin smooth and supple all day. The formula is also lightweight and can be worn under makeup. And due to its gel-like form, it has a long-lasting effect on the skin.

It can be applied daily. However, dry skins are best suited for this facial moisturizer.

2. Best Organic Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

Talk about an extra-fortified facial moisturizer and Era Organics Face Moisturizer pops as an example. Containing 12 plant-based ingredients, the moisturizer helps the skin stay healthy and stronger.

The formula contains aloe vera, manuka honey, MSM, shea butter, coconut oil, blue-green algae, olive oil, cocoa butter, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. It is one of the richest natural face moisturizers available.

Also, the moisturizer provides deep hydration and is non-greasy after application. The moisturizer uses natural ingredients to repair damaged skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells.

The enriched formula furthermore helps to stimulate collagen production and strengthen fibers. It is safe and effective in improving skin elasticity. You can use it to reduce aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.

Asides from this, this moisturizer is non-comedogenic and is also safe for sensitive skin types. And as a natural product, it does not contain fragrances, toxins, alcohol, fillers, or parabens. It is a natural product best for all skin types.

3. Best Facial Moisturizer With SPF

Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer provides UVA/UVB protection with a broad spectrum of SPF 35. The lotion is oil-free and doesn’t clog the pores, making it the perfect daily moisturizer you need.

Also, the formula is long-lasting and effective in protecting the skin from aging signs caused by sun damages.

Furthermore, it has been clinically proven to protect the skin, so you should have no worries if you choose it as the moisturizer to provide you protection from the sun. Plus, the sheer formula absorbs quickly into the skin.

The facial moisturizer is non-greasy and won’t leave residue on your face. It can keep your face moisturized for up to 12 hours after application, keeping it smooth and soft.

4. Best Hydrating Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

You need a hydrating formula if you have dry skin. This is why Cetaphil Face Moisturizer is one of the best facial moisturizers for dark skin tones.

The oil-free formula is highly soothing and hydrating. With ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and water, the formula acts as a fast-absorbing component that provides intense hydration.

You can also apply it under your makeup. It is light and non-comedogenic. It wouldn’t clog your pores.

The moisturizer is meant for dry skins to keep their skin moisturized and supple by locking in moisture. And it has been dermatologist tested. It is safe to use on the skin.

5. Best Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin Under 30

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream contains ingredients like retinol and peptides to help the skin regenerate and heal while you sleep.

The formula is non-comedogenic and light on the skin. Its major properties are cocoa butter, antioxidant vitamin E, and retinol. These ingredients help to keep the skin radiant and youthful-looking.

Also, the moisturizer helps the skin stay hydrated and smooth. You can apply the moisturizer to keep your skin refreshed and radiant in the morning.

6. Best Antiaging Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

This facial moisturizer is fortified with retinol, hyaluronic acid, and collagen to help fight antiaging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, and age spots.

The renewing moisturizer can be used daily (day and night) for effective results. Also, it provides a lifting effect and improves the skin’s elasticity and texture. The formula is deeply hydrating and rejuvenating, reducing irritation and dryness.

The facial moisturizer is great for dry, oily, normal, and combination skins. The moisturizer is also parabens and gluten-free. Keeping the skin optimally safe.

7. Best Facial Moisturizer for Oily Dark Skin

This lightweight formula by L’Oreal Paris is a face moisturizer for oily and normal skin types. The moisturizer contains ingredients like aqua, glycerin, denatured alcohol, hyaluronic acid, and citric acid.

The formula hydrates the skin with its fast-absorbing gel, making the skin shine all through. Also, the facial moisturizer is long-lasting, with up to 72 hours of hydration on the face.

It helps to keep the skin hydrated and sealed. With the light formula, it is easy to hydrate the skin while treating the face of wrinkles and clearing sebum.

8. Best Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Dark Skin

This Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer is formulated especially for sensitive skins. The moisturizer is gentle and soothing to the skin. Also, it does not contain harmful and irritating ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and parabens.

The formula is hypoallergenic and soothing to the skin. Furthermore, it is non-comedogenic. The pores of your skin would not be clogged by it.

This facial moisturizer is lightweight on the skin and can be added to both your morning and night skincare routines. You can also wear it under makeup without reactions.

9. Best Facial Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Dark Skin

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel contains ingredients like water, glycerin, and dimethicone to keep replenish the skin overnight.

The oil-free moisturizer provides hydrating burst, keeping the skin clean and clear. Also, it is ultra-lightweight and non-greasy. It leaves no residue on the skin after application.

It is non-comedogenic and would not clog the pores. This makes it an easy product that must be added to your skincare routine. You can wear it to keep your skin light and refreshed if you are acne-prone.

10. Best Facial Moisturizer for Combination Dark Skin

This facial moisturizer has ingredients like glycerin, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3+, and water to keep the skin hydrated and bouncy.

The Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Face Moisturizer by Olay helps the skin to stimulate cell turnover. It’s the perfect moisturizer for combination skin because it hydrates and firms the skin without feeling heavy.

Also, the moisturizer helps to combat stressors, keeping the skin clear. If you need a moisturizer to improve your youthful-looking skin, this is a great option.

11. Best Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skinned Men

Brickell Men’s Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream For Men is an antiaging cream for men containing aloe, DMAE, MSM, hyaluronic acid, and green tea. The facial moisturizer is meant for all skin types. It also helps to keep the skin soothed, especially after shaving.

This moisturizer is also fast-acting, providing a lifting effect and reducing signs of aging. With its hydrating ingredients, the moisturizer helps the skin stay plump all day as it works on wrinkles and fine lines.

And after application, the moisturizer leaves a non-greasy texture that does not clog pores. It is smooth to the skin and fragrance-free. Therefore, it is not irritating.

12. Best Day Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a moisturizer you need in your daily skincare. The formula contains hydrating components like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to soothe the skin.

The moisturizer is also fortified with sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of 30. You will be protected from UVA/UVB radiation.

The moisturizer also acts as a barrier on the skin from harmful external elements. It contains ceramide, which protects the skin and coats it with lipids.

Furthermore, the lotion is non-comedogenic and absorbs quickly, keeping the skin smooth and clear. The moisturizer is suitable for all skin types.

13. Best Night Facial Moisturizer for Dark Skin

CeraVe P M is one of the best facial moisturizers for dark skin tones because it boosts skin elasticity and radiance. It contains ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to reduce signs of aging.

The ingredients work better at night to rejuvenate your skin while you rest. Also, it restores the natural water balance and renews the epidermis.

You can renew and rejuvenate your skin while you sleep by adding this moisturizer to your nighttime routine. And finally, the product is fragrance-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic.

14. Best Facial Moisturizer Gel for Dark Skin

Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Facial Moisturizer is designed to soothe sensitive and irritated skins. The formula contains ingredients like prebiotic oat, which is hypoallergenic to soothe the skin and nourish it.

Also, it acts as the perfect barrier on the skin. This moisturizer is also safe to use.

It is paraben-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, alcohol-free, and phthalate-free. Furthermore, it is non-comedogenic, so it would not clog the pores.

The gel moisturizer can be used daily with up to 24-hour moisture coverage. You would feel comfortable wearing the lightweight gel and also feel soothed while pasted on your face.

Sensitive, irritated, and dry skins can benefit from the gel moisturizer all day.

Why Do You Need a Facial Moisturizer?

facial moisturizers for dark skin

All skin types and tones need moisturizers for various reasons.

For example, you need moisturizers to keep your skin ‘moisturized’. The skin, especially dark skin, is prone to drying up. You need moisturizers to keep it hydrated and supple. This, in turn, leads to shiny healthy skin.

Also, some external harmful agents affect the skin when it is not properly taken care of. Moisturizers serve as a shield against these harmful ingredients. For instance, moisturizers fortified with SPF can protect the skin against UV radiation.

Furthermore, the moisturizing effect of the skincare product serves as a film, coat, or polish that keeps moisture in the skin in place, not letting the nourishment out or oxidated.

Another reason why you need facial moisturizers for your dark skin is to repair the skin with highly active components like retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and others.

The repairs in the skin include improving collagen level, stimulating or regulating melanin production, treating aging effects, hyperpigmentation, and others.

Moreover, when it comes to treating skin issues like eczema, rosacea, or blemishes, moisturizers are useful instruments. They have soothing ingredients that also ease irritation on the skin.

Moisturizers can help to fortify the stratum corneum, the skin’s shield (which is made of oils, fats, and skin cells), and regulate the skin’s hydration.

No matter your skin type, you need to keep your skin supple and nourished. This prevents it from drying up or getting brittle. And glowing is a plus for any skincare routine.  

What to Look for in a Facial Moisturizer

facial moisturizers for dark skin

When you want to pick the right moisturizers for dark skin, you need to keep some things in mind. These points determine what you want from your moisturizer.

1. Skin Type

Your skin type is a major criterion because it determines what ingredients to go for in facial moisturizers. Whether you have dry, sensitive, oily, combination, or have normal skin, you need a moisturizer that would cater to your skin type.

Not using the right moisturizer for your skin could lead to more problems than solving the issues you want to treat.

2. Ingredients

Ingredients are essential after determining what skin type you have. The ingredients you go for must be in the following categories:

  • Humectants: They attract water or hold it in the skin. Ingredients like glycerin, honey, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid are great examples of humectants in the skin.
  • Occlusive: These are ingredients that seal moisture in the skin. Mineral oil, silicones, and petrolatum are great occlusive used in moisturizers.
  • Non-Comedogenic: A formula that wouldn’t clog the pores when it penetrates the skin. Oily and acne-prone skin needs non-comedogenic formula because it wouldn’t clog their pores and cause more acne or breakouts.
  • Antioxidants: Ingredients with antioxidant properties are essential for keeping the skin properly nourished and radical-free. They are also used to treat skin issues.
  • Emollients: These are ingredients that help to shine the outer layer of the skin. Fatty acids and oils are great emollients that keep the skin supple.
  • Hypoallergenic: These are ingredients that wouldn’t feel harsh on the skin. They are soothing and do not harm or irritate the skin tissues.

When you are choosing your moisturizers, the ingredients decide what purpose they’re meant for. That is, if you have dry skin, you should go for moisturizers with humectants, emollients, and occlusive ingredients.

On the other hand, oily/acne-prone skins should get moisturizers with non-comedogenic and antioxidant components to treat their skin issues.

3. Sun Protection

Facial moisturizers for dark skin tones need to have a sun protection factor (SPF). Sunscreen is paramount in skincare for dark skin tones too. The skin needs to be protected, and your day moisturizer must contain SPF to keep sun damages like dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines away.

4. Texture

When you look for a facial moisturizer for dark skin tones, the consistency or texture is equally important. Again, your skin type plays an important part in what you choose.

For example, oily skin needs light moisturizers in lotions, while dry or itchy skin needs a thicker textured moisturizer in a cream formula.

On the other hand, combination and normal skins can pick based on how their skin is in the present.

Most times, they need creams of a thinner consistency than thick creams. Or you can have both lotions or moisturizers and use them according to your skin’s needs.

How to Apply a Facial Moisturizer

facial moisturizers for dark skin

Adding a facial moisturizer to your routine is quite easy. However, it’s also easy to get it wrong. You can add a moisturizer to your daily routine. This includes your morning and nighttime routine.

In your routine, before you apply your facial moisturizer, your cleanser, face toner, and serum come first in that order. Then your moisturizer comes next.

When applying your facial moisturizer, add a pea-sized amount to your hands. Then gently dab and tap your face with your hands. Make sure to keep the moisturizer out of your eye area to not irritate them.

You can use a special eye cream for your eye area if the moisturizer is not meant for that part. However, if it is, rub that part last. Be tender with the area and keep your eyes closed while you apply the product.

When you are done, wait for a few minutes for the product to be absorbed into your skin before applying the next product, which could be your makeup or sunscreen.

Frequently Asked Questions

facial moisturizers for dark skin

Can I use expired moisturizer?

No, you cannot. Expired moisturizers are dangerous to your skin’s health.

From the moment you buy your moisturizer, it has begun counting down to its expiration. Most moisturizers don’t have a specified date. When they don’t, look for a PAO (period after opening) on the bottle.

Also, you can discard your moisturizer if it’s been sitting on your shelf for more than a year. You don’t have to wait for tell-tale signs your moisturizer has gone bad before throwing it out.

Can I use facial moisturizer for my lips?

No, you can’t.

Even if you have dry lips, you can use lip scrubs to keep your lips nourished and supple.

Lip balms and moisturizing lipsticks are great options to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized too.

Do facial moisturizers really work?

Yes, they do. Facial moisturizers are made with active ingredients that help the skin stay healthy.

Facial moisturizers for dark skin are made for specific purposes, and they usually accomplish it because the ingredients are known to work.

If you notice your facial moisturizer is not working or benefiting your skin, it could be due to two things: you are using the wrong moisturizer for your skin, or you are using a low-quality product.

This is why you have to know your skin type before buying any skin product. Also, go for quality products, even though they are pricey.

Do I wash off a facial moisturizer?

No, you don’t. A moisturizer does not need to be washed off.

When applying your skincare products during the day or night, moisturizers are one of the products that act when they are left on the face. The longer it’s on the face and is absorbed by the skin, the better it works.

However, at the end of the day, before you sleep, you need to wash your face off of all makeup and grimes piled on the skin. Then you add a new layer of night moisturizer to rejuvenate your skin as you sleep.

When you wake up, you wash your face of any grime or dead skin cell that may have piled on your face while you slept.

Washing your skin prepped with moisturizer is unnecessary. Unless you are freeing your face of dirt and grime.

facial moisturizers for dark skin


Facial moisturizers are essential in your daily skincare routine. You need them to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

I have listed the best facial moisturizers for dark skin tones that would be beneficial to the skin. But some still stand out among this best list.

For instance, CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizer is the perfect morning facial moisturizer. It has hydrating ingredients and protects your skin with a broad spectrum SPF of 30.

On the other hand, you can use Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer With SPF 35, a sunscreen facial moisturizer, if you are looking for a stronger formula.

The facial moisturizers are all good, but I would recommend Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Face Moisturizer. The moisturizer provides deep hydration while keeping the skin supple and smooth. But dry and normal skins are most suited for it.

This is why L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Facial Moisturizer comes in second for oily skins. It is non-comedogenic and would help the skin stay moisturized while acting as a barrier.

facial moisturizers for dark skin


Now that you know the best moisturizers for dark skin tones, it becomes easier to make a buying decision. Moisturizers are essential in our skincare routine, but oftentimes, dark skins don’t know what to go for.

This is why the list above was created. And it is safe to say that you can keep your skin moisturized with these products, at the very least. But be sure to buy the right one for your skin.

You can read up on how to choose the right moisturizers. Find out what your skin type is and your skin’s needs and conditions. Then it becomes easier to make a wise choice.

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